Duchess to join troops at remembrance event

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The Independent Online

The Duchess of Cornwall will address 650 soldiers from 11 Light Brigade today after they recently returned from operations in Afghanistan.

The service personnel from 12 regiments or units, including the Grenadier Guards and 11 Ordinance Disposal Regiment, will march through the city of Winchester in what organisers said was the biggest event of its kind to date.

The soldiers will be accompanied by three military bands and a flypast by four Tornado jets over the medieval city, which is the ancient capital of England.

The troops will then line up outside the city's Guildhall joining wounded personnel, family representatives of some of the 64 soldiers killed in action from the brigade in Afghanistan and relations of the seriously injured who are unable to attend.

The Duchess will address the troops from a dais before carrying out an inspection. The brigade is to disband after the ceremony.

Later, a private service of thanksgiving and remembrance in Winchester Cathedral will take place in recognition of the contribution and sacrifice of service personnel and their families on return from the conflict in Afghanistan.

The Cathedral Service is for invited guests, all ranks, wounded personnel, family representatives of those killed in action and relations of the seriously injured who are unable to attend.

Upwards of 1,400 people will attend the Cathedral Service and there will be a private reception afterwards.

Units taking part in the march are: 11 Light Brigade Headquarters Staff, 261 Signals Squadron, The Household Cavalry Regiment, 1 Royal Horse Artillery, 28 Engineer Regiment: The Royal Engineers, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, 1st Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment, 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards), 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh (The Royal Welsh Fusiliers), 3rd Battalion The Rifles, 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment: Royal Logistic Corps, 10 Queen's Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment.

The parade will be accompanied by three military bands: the Band of the Grenadier Guards, the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Band and the Band of Three Rifles.

The headquarters of the brigade is at Aldershot in Hampshire. Some of the units are also based in Hampshire but other regiments are based in Edinburgh, Chester, London and Germany.